NRL 2023 Manly Sea Eagles v Brisbane Broncos
A week after a heavy loss to the Rabbitohs, the Brisbane Broncos have bounced back to cement their place on the top of the NRL ladder with a 32-6 win over the Sea Eagles.
It was an ordinary first 40 minutes from the Sea Eagles that ultimately cost them the game.
After hitting the sheds down 20-0, Manly battled for the half hour after the break, before conceding two tries back to back.
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A consolation effort from Ben Trbojevic broke the duck with only minutes left on the clock.
On his return from a week off with an adductor injury, Tom Trbojevic had a quiet night – 14 runs for 146 running metres and just a single tackle bust.
But his pass to Ben for the side’s only try at least earned him a try assist.
In commentary for Nine, Manly legend Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin said he thought Trbojevic was still carrying some kind of niggle.
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“I am Tom Trbojevic’s biggest fan but tonight he doesn’t look right. He has seriously almost been a passenger for a lot of the game,” Vautin said.
“I don’t want to sound too harsh … but Tom is just not the player that we know he can be. He is obviously not 100 per cent. He is out there doing his best, but he just lacks the flair tonight.”
After the game, Trbojevic said while he didn’t play his best footy against the Broncos, it wasn’t down to injury.
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“I felt really good out there,” he told Nine’s Danika Mason.
“[I’m] obviously not playing the footy I want to play at the moment which is disappointing, but no injury is holding me back.
“I know there is a lot of speculation in the media about it, but I know I feel really good in my body, I just have to find some form on the field.”
Of the Sea Eagles’ performance as a whole, Trbojevic said they gave the Broncos too many opportunities.
“The first half wasn’t good enough. We dropped a lot of footy and gave a quality side ball down our end and they scored points,” he said.
The Sea Eagles made 16 errors, but won the penalty count 4-1.
The Broncos scored six tries – including a hat trick to Selwyn Cobbo.
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